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WFP and Kenya's Ministry of Devolution and ASALs sign agreement on food security and humanitarian relief

Hon. Eugene L. Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and the ASALs and H.E. Annalisa Conte WFP Representative and Country Director, shaking hands after having signed the Agreement.
NAIROBI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Kenya’s Ministry of Devolution and the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) have agreed to collaborate on the coordination, formulation and implementation of policies on food security, resilience building and relief assistance to achieve food and nutrition security in Kenya.

This strategic agreement builds on WFP’s current Country Strategic Plan for Kenya (2018-2023) which will see a shift away from the direct delivery of food assistance to strengthening the capacities of national and county institutions to offer appropriate hunger solutions to vulnerable and food insecure people.

Similarly, we note, for example, the current Strategic Plan (2018-2022) of the State Department for Development of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALS) puts heavy emphasis on Resilience building programmes, rather than dealing with emergencies occasioned by the predictable cycle of drought. Under the slogan“Unlocking the Potential of ASALS for Accelerated National Development,”this Strategic Plan shall leverage on the immense potential of the ASAL regions which cumulatively comprise 89% of Kenya’s surface area and account for 39% of the population.

The main areas of cooperation shall be with the State Department for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands, State Department for Devolution and The National Drought Management Authority.


  • Strengthening Ministry’s institutional and technical capacity in food security and resilience programmes
  • Development of National Relief Assistance Management Policy
  • Strengthen structures to ensure accountability in humanitarian relief assistance during emergencies
  • Support county governments to assume the leadership and technical responsibilities of designing and implementing resiliencelivelihood programmes
  • Support to building of Knowledge Management System/data base


Similarly, the MOU captures the respective obligations of WFP and Government of Kenya, through Ministry of Devolution and ASALS; Guidelines on Financial Management, Process of Procurement and Payments, Anti-Corruption guidelines; Prevention of Sexual Exploitation; and a Clause on Termination/Amendments to this MOU.

This agreement represents a new vision for our work with the Government. In accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals, Kenya Vision 2030 and the government’s Big Four Agenda, WFP is joining forces with Kenya to achieve zero hunger,” said WFP Country Director Annalisa Conte.

“It is an honour for WFP to partner with the Ministry of Devolution and ASALs to change people’s lives in Kenya and make them more resilient by diversifying their livelihoods so they can survive shocks and have better access to quality and affordable foods,” she added.

WFP’s strategy is guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – in particular SDG 2 to end hunger globally and SDG 17 on revitalizing partnerships. Kenya Vision 2030 is a blueprint for Kenya to reach middle income status by 2030. The Big Four Agenda names food security, manufacturing and affordable housing and healthcare as priorities for economic development.

The agreement with the ministry is a framework defining what needs to be done, responsibilities and commitments in order to strengthen the Ministry’s institutional and technical capacities to design and manage resilience programmes, to develop a national relief assistance management policy and to enhance the early warning and food security assessment system among others. A joint programme of operations and a joint budget will be formulated in the coming weeks.

Following the successful completion of a Capacity Needs Mapping exercise in 14 ASAL counties, WFP has signed agreements with 6 county governments – Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana and Wajir – to help them achieve food and nutrition security. Agreements with other counties are under discussion.

WFP looks forward to working with the ministry and county governments in translating this strategic agreement into practical actions for the greater well-being of the people of Kenya.


HON. EUGENE L. WAMALWA, EGH                                            H.E. ANNALISA   CONTE

CABINET SECRETARY,                                                                        WFP COUNTRY DIRECTOR